And Back to Work.

Well, that little break was quite enjoyable. I really needed to pull back a bit – having a couple of days without my son and without driving myself to the keyboard with a bullwhip was salutary.

But enough with that lazy life. It’s time to get back to productivity.

First order of the day is going to list what I need to be doing in the next few weeks. Lots of private stuff that I won’t necessarily talk about, but also planning my blog posts for the balance of the year, writing some of those, getting back into Book the Second, making more edits to Book the First, and so on and so forth.

 

So expect a list of things to do as my next blog post.

Goals for the Week

Well, returning to work has been tough on my energy level and general motivation. As in, I didn’t get anything done this week.

In part this is due to general disorganization (and a stupidly large amount of stuff on my non-writing to-do list that I just don’t feel like handling… leading to copious amount of time wasted on the Internet.)

There’s one cure for that: an OFFICIAL TO-DO LIST!

So, by next Monday, I must:

1-Write 500 words on Book the Second. That’s a ridiculously low bar. But it’s a reasonable target given the rest.

2-Finish the last details I wanted to do on the Book the Second tech bible. That’s just copying manuscript notes into the Word document, so it’s a “whenever I have time” task.

3-Another Bonus Creativity post. I already know what it will be about, so it should be a couple of hours top.

4-Review my agent list – just basic maintenance work, again a matter of minutes.

5-Formalize my notes on e-publishing, and plan my blog post(s) on the matter.

Five goals. The passing grade is 3/5, but completing task 1 is mandatory. Let’s see how well I’ll do.

Back to Work

All good things come to an end. My paternity leave ends today, and so I must head back to work.

(Full disclosure, I have an easy first week, so don’t pay too much attention to my whining.)

So – did I do everything I wanted on my vacation?

1-Blogging:

Almost made it. In fact, I have another post already written up so technically I did everything I wanted there.

2-Writing:

Total, abject failure. I was more tired than I thought, but the real kicker was how exhausting being at home with the baby for entire days could be. Once I got past the initial sleep-twelve-hours-a-day period of my vacation, I had some time off in the evening, but my brain just wasn’t there.

And when I finally found energy again, well, we instead decided to put that energy to socialize a bit.

The good news is we now have a start date for daycare. So starting in June I should have prime quality time at home without the baby.

Now that the excuses are over… I did manage to work on the support documentation for Book the Second. Solved my main plot issue for the series, drew the world map, and even got started on the synopsis. But actual word count only went up by a few hundred (although I did get through a tough scene, so there’s that.)

3-Querying:

On track with what I wanted to do, but no movement on that front. Still, it’s not because I didn’t do my part, so I call this a win!

4-E-publishing:

I did some research. Surprisingly easier than I thought, but I still need to do more and write that post.

5-Other projects:

Started on some of the projects I had in mind (that’s the “in reserve” post), also stumbled into surprise projects that could generate me some money. So another net positive here.

So that’s what I did on my vacation.

The Gameplan

Well, I’m on paternity leave. But I should have known that wouldn’t mean much more free time.

Objectively, I have about forty more hours per week. But I obviously wanted to spend some of that time with my son. We also had a fairly impressive backlog of household tasks that I had to get through. Plus, I’m apparently exhausted (surprising, I know) – I didn’t realize it in the high-speed grind of the work-fatherhood-writing lifestyle, but now that I have time to take it a bit easier, I’m barely making it through my days.

But if I want to accomplish anything in my remaining three weeks and change of “vacation”, I need to plan my workload out. So here we go:

1-Blogging:

My goal here is simple: two posts a week for the five weeks of my vacation. That should suffice to catch-up the few weeks I’ve missed this year, and to build a small buffer for emergencies.

There’ll be one Bonus Creativity post, one A Dad and a Writer, the Yeruldegger Just my Opinion, and at least one update on my queries. Beyond that… we’ll see.

2-Writing:

I sorely wanted to challenge myself to 300 words per day for the duration, but I’m just too exhausted. Instead, the goal is now “reach 8000 words in Book the Second.” I’m at slightly over 2000 now, so I feel that’s an achievable goal.

I also need to take an evening to work on the setting bible for Book the Second. I need to draw a quick world map, formalize how magic works in that universe, that sort of stuff.

As a tertiary goal, I really should write out a first version of the synopsis. It’s the kind of writing I could easily improve upon during my breaks at work. Plus, it’s a good way to spot any plot issues prior to writing out several thousand words.

3-Querying:

Well, I found one other agent which may be interested in Book the First, so I’ll query her in the next couple of days. Then I’ll spend a few hours reviewing the status of my last batch of queries. Except a query report at some point.

4-E-publishing:

As mentionned, I want to start looking at e-publishing Book the First. I need to do some research on that, so that’s likely to be the subject of a blog post at some point. Depending on the amount of work required to turn my manuscript into an e-book, I might want to get started on that during my vacation too.

5-Extra content:

I’ve got some ideas for additionnal material for this blog. We’ll see how that goes.

So that’s what I’m trying for in the next month or so. We’ll see how it goes.

Marathon Month

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve managed to write a blog post.

It’s been a rough month – nothing specific, just the last few weeks of work prior to heading out on well-earned paternity leave. I’m the kind of guy who’ll handle several years of work without a single vacation without issue, then barely manage to drag myself over the finish line once I finally schedule some time off.

I’ll do a several posts on the advancement of my various projects soon, but here’s the quick version:

1-No movement on the agenting side. I’ll do a quick review of that sometime this week, to figure out how many of my final queries are officially dead and how many are still on life support.

2-My son’s doing well. Not much to add there.

3-I’m progressing on the newest Book the Second. Not much in the last ten days or so, but I have big plans for the next five weks.

4-I have to get some gaming (or pseudo-gaming) time in, so I will post the much-belated Bonus Creativity post soon.

5-Regardless of the progress on the agent front, I will get started on looking at e-publishing requirements and options. Expect a post or two on the subject.

So that’s where I am. First, of course, is the inevitable start-of-vacation migraine I’m bound to run into. There’s a reason I don’t take vacations, people. 🙂

 

Sick…

Well, that was a waste of a week. I’ve come down with what feels like a mix of gastroenteritis, influenza, and the T-virus. I’ve yet to develop glowing red spots you can hit for MASSIVE DAMAGE, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

More seriously, I’m starting to feel better, and the whole “unable to do anything” shebang means my brain is well-rested, at least. Hopefully, that’ll translate to a lot of creative productivity when I get back on top of all the chores and work I haven’t done yet.

Still, the next week’s post should be up in a couple of days. Not sure what it’ll be (other than that it’s not going to be the Ulysses opinion post.)

Let It Be Resolved

So, time for my yearly resolutions. After all, you can’t very well fail if you don’t set yourself impossible goals, right?

Actually, joking aside, I do like setting myself goals. Well-defined, achievable goals. So, as far as writing goes, here’s what I want to accomplish this year.

1-Read ten (10) new books:

In my pre-fatherhood days, this would have been a trivial accomplishment. Nowadays… it’s daunting. But let’s make it tougher: at least two of those books have to be classics of the “books you must have read before you die” variety. I’m thinking Joyce and Proust, but we’ll see.

2-Write one blog post every week:

That’s pretty self-explanatory. Some slippage is probably inevitable, but I want to have 91 published posts by the end of the year. Yes, this post counts.

3-Be done with Book the First:

That means either finding an agent, or self-publishing the book. I have eleven more agents I want to query on my list (and I’m allowing myself a twelfth if I learn of someone I think is worth a shot.) If I find an agent, great, if not, well, the goal is to have the ebook out for next Christmas.

4-Finish and start shopping the short story I’m currently writing:

This is the next piece of writing I want to finish. I’m almost done with the first draft, and that’s really what I’m struggling to fit in my schedule. Editing can easily be done in small increments, but writing needs long stretches of free time.

5-Take this website to the next level:

This means learning WordPress better, and throwing some cash at the problem. Also, it means figuring out categories, tags, the works.

6-Finalize my plans and start work on the Next Series:

I sorta like my new project. But I need to do a lot of thinking and planning and worldbuilding for it. I want to end the year with that project well on its way.

So, that’s it for me this year. Let’s get cracking!

This Time, it’s Different

So, not much progress lately. But for once, I have a good reason for it!

My son was born on Saturday. Suddenly, little frustrations like waiting for answers to my queries don’t seem that relevant anymore.

I’ll get back to work soon. I just need a week, maybe a month or a year or a lifetime, to gaze upon the most marvelous little being in the world.

(Actually, I probably will get back to querying this weekend or early next week. But don’t be surprised if I don’t!)